Henri Matisse Inspired Stained Glass Windows

Teaching Art

From his perseverance and overcoming physical obstacles to his range as an artist and innovative spirit, student also, I love teaching young artists about the life and art of Henri Matisse.

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This year I wanted to draw upon the stained glass windows he designed for the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence, France. After sharing the life story and artwork of Matisse with students, we focused on why Matisse created the windows and how art can be a way to give thanks.

Students learned the difference between organic and geometric shapes and like Matisse, draw with scissors cutting shapes from colored paper. Once student has an envelope full of shapes, they were give an A3 piece of black paper that had been cut along all three sides except the top. Inpsired by the different frames and arches of various stained glass windows from churches and cathedral from around the world, students drew and cut the top of their frame making it their own.

Between a A3 lamination sheets, students placed their frame, arranged their shapes inside and lightly glues them down before closing the lamination sheets. Then, students used the glass machine a.k.a the lamination machine to turn their window into stained glass. For the last step, students used a permanent markers to trace each shape and draw straight lines connecting all the shapes together and to the frame.

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My teaching partner and I put a each of double sided tape on the top and bottom of each artwork and displayed in the large windows of the school stairwell. Each individual artwork showcase students choice, cutting and fine motor skills an their knowledge of the artist studied. All together, the 200 stained glass window frames came together to created a powerful and spectacular display.

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